A/B Testing Insights Through Ecommerce Customer Journey

A/B testing has evolved from a simple comparative study to a process backed up by a data-driven approach. Here are some some inside tips and tricks which can help you get huge uplifts in your business metrics.

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A seamless eCommerce customer journey is about transitioning from just “buying” to “experiencing.” The key to growing your online business is to let your customers explore, decide, and share, and then learn from their experience.

Over the years, A/B testing has evolved from a simple comparative study to a process backed up by a data-driven approach. Businesses and website owners can utilize this approach at every stage of their customer journey.

In this blog post, we take you through some inside tips and tricks which helped VWO customers get huge uplifts in business metrics such as conversions and revenues. Take notes as you read this blog, as the next big testing idea for your own ecommerce store could come in from here.

1) Easy Visibility and Access To Relevant Information for Visitors

Customer Interaction: Splash pages

A splash page is a screen that pops up when you first enter a site. As splash pages are the pages visitors see first when visiting a website, these are also an important source of revenue.

Let’s first look at some of the industry best practices regarding splash pages.

  • Make the key message and the exit button both easily visible.
    While interested visitors should be able to move through next steps, the disinterested ones should also be able to move through, that is, exit the splash page easily.
  • Make sure your users interact with your splash page first and then the page they are looking for.
  • Design the user/visitor flow such that those who have already visited your splash page don’t get to see it again.
    This should be spaced out based on factors such as time span, say on a revisit after 7 days.

Case Study

Warner Music Group, an American multinational entertainment and record label conglomerate headquartered in New York City, noticed that conversion rates were lower than the industry average.

They redesigned their splash pages, and ran 3 A/B tests before making these live.

In the variation, the image on the left was resized and moved below the content. The purpose was to provide a quick snapshot to the visitor in one go.

The redesigned splash pages showed a 4% improvement in the conversion rate. Look at the comparison of the control (left) and variation (right) below:

Optimizing The Customer Journey: WMG A/B Test

To learn more on how WMG went through with their other tests and execution, you can read the complete case study.

2) Best Possible Customer Experience on the Home Page

Visitor interaction: Home page

Your home page is the entrance to your store. Jazz it up with the very best of what you have got.

Some of the home page best practices include:

  • Convey value proposition straight up. What a visitor sees in the first few seconds on your home page is crucial. It’s important that you communicate your value proposition instantly, and don’t come across as just another mom & pop store.
  • Have an easily identifiable Sale section. Fish all the discounted products on your home page, and line those up in a separate section that’s dedicated to them.
  • Organize the navigation bar. Make sure your visitors easily find their way around your website. Place the navigation bar at the standard positions where visitors expect to find them. You can also make your navigation bar persistent.

Case Study

MedienReich ComputerTrainings, a German company which provides various software training courses, also applied the same learning and increased website engagement by 40%.

They replaced the 3 broad category types with 8 of their best-selling courses, such as Photoshop, InDesign, and AutoCAD.

While doing so, they also adhered to another best practice, that is:


Provide right information in right order.


You can refer to the comparison of the control and the variation below:

You can learn more about the MedienReich success story.

3) Connecting Prospective Customers with Products

Visitor interaction point: Category page

When it comes to category pages, every action requires equal caution. For such pages, you need to plan per your product type and page layout and design than following an industry best practice blindly. Be it how your products are displayed, the position of the search box, or the number of filters, every field or option should be used with discretion or should be tested and used accordingly.

For example, Buyakilt.com added filters to increase their revenue by 76%, but UKToolCentre considered filters as a distractor for a particular category and had these removed to increase their engagement by 27%.

When the focus of a website is to have customers sign in and then buy, it’s important to maintain customer focus and continuity.

Case Study

Muc-Off offers a broad range of cleaning products for bicycles, motorcycles, and other motor vehicles, and electronic goods. Its products are sold through major retailers around the world as well as through its website.

When Spot Studio, an agency hired by Muc-Off, also tried applying this learning, they observed that their design caused incongruity in user experience. Visitors came there to purchase products; but after landing on the page, they were finding information resources instead of a shop front.

The test they did after rearranging their departments page (or the category page) gave them 43.78% more product views.

Here’s the control-variation comparison, as noted on VWO Heatmaps.



To find more about what Muc-Off did to improve the customer experience on their category page, here’s the complete case study.

4) Judicious Use of Reviews and Testimonials on Product Pages to Gain Visitor Trust

Visitor interaction point: Product page

According to Local Consumer Review Survey 2018:

  • Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business.
  • 57% of consumers will only use a business if it has 4 or more stars.
  • 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews.

Case Study

Express Watches, a client of VWO’s Certified Partners, High Position, is an authorized Seiko watch dealer that ships to over 23 countries. They have been in the watch retail industry for more than 21 years and believe in getting the basics right to satisfy their customers.

Considering the challenges related to replicas plaguing their industry, Express Watches also decided to use the above learning to reinforce their brand positioning.

However, to reduce visitor anxiety and achieve the desired results, they included a TrustPilot widget with some great customer reviews. These were tested against the erstwhile section Why Buy From Express Watches?

The variation was declared the winner with a percentage improvement of 58.39% and 99% chance to beat original, as shown below.

To read the Express Watches case study in detail, click here.

5) Resolution of Customer Friction Points at the Checkout Page for Significant Website Conversions

According to 40 Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics:

  • 26% of US online shoppers have abandoned an order in a particular quarter solely due to a “too long / complicated checkout process.”
  • $260 billion are recoverable through checkout optimizations of just US and EU e-commerce sales.
  • 34% of US online shoppers have abandoned an order in a particular quarter solely due to the reason “the site wanted me to create an account.”

As an eCommerce business owner, it’s important that you regularly interact with your customers and new visitors to get ongoing feedback about their experience, as you wouldn’t want to lose them at the final gateway, that is, the checkout stage.

Case Study

PayU India is the flagship company of Naspers group, a $93 billion Internet and media conglomerate. Through its proprietary technology, PayU provides state-of-the-art payment gateway solutions to online businesses.

The concern for PayU was checkout page drop-offs. Through VWO’s Visitor Recordings and Heatmaps features, the PayU team found that providing communication information was a key friction point. They hypothesized that dropping the less important of the two fields—the telephone and the email—would help them increase conversions.  

They tested the variation without the email field against the control. The results demonstrated that dropping the email field showed a statistically significant improvement of 5.8% compared to the control.

Look at the comparison of the control and variation below:

Control
Variation

Conclusion

While the above A/B testing ideas worked for these companies, these may not necessarily work for you as well.

These case studies should provide you insights and ideas on how you can create strong hypotheses and test these further.

These examples should give you a good idea as to how A/B testing can be a good starting point for conversion optimization and the extent of results you can achieve through testing.

Do share your A/B testing experiences in the Comments section below.

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A/B Testing Ideas To Turn Your E-commerce Store Into A Conversion Magnet

Is your e-commerce website experiencing high traffic but low checkouts? Is your cart abandonment rate at an all-time high? Are you losing prospect customers because something on your website is putting them off and are not sure how to make visitors leave the site only after finishing a purchase? This blog will help you unlock […]

The post A/B Testing Ideas To Turn Your E-commerce Store Into A Conversion Magnet appeared first on Blog.

Is your e-commerce website experiencing high traffic but low checkouts? Is your cart abandonment rate at an all-time high? Are you losing prospect customers because something on your website is putting them off and are not sure how to make visitors leave the site only after finishing a purchase?

This blog will help you unlock the true potential of your online store. Keep reading to learn a few ideas while you are A/B testing for e-commerce to turn your store into a CONVERSION magnet. But don’t take our word for it. A/B test them to see what works for your e-commerce store.

Have A Prominent CTA

Your Call-To-Action (CTA) button should stand out as soon as a visitor lands on your website. This is where the real action takes place – whether or not visitors finish their purchases and convert, if they fill out the sign-up form or not, and more such actions that have a direct bearing on your conversion rate. A/B test different copies, placement & sizes for your CTA till you find the winning variation. Some key characteristics of a magnetic CTA:

  • Be Creatively Persuasive: CTA text should be persuasive and creative at the same time and should encourage visitors to act-in-the-moment.
  • Make it Unmissable: If your CTA is too small to be noticed or placed in the wrong spot and visitors have to look for it, they are most likely going to leave your page without converting.

Add An Omnipresent Search Bar

Support your website navigation with an omnipresent search bar. Build an omnipresent search bar keeping in mind two metrics: Precision and Recall.

  • Precision is the percentage of retrieved search results that are relevant.
  • Recall is the percentage of all relevant results that the search system actually retrieves.

Imagine that on your website, you have 1000 products, of which 300 are mobile phones. When visitors search for mobile phones, they get 500 results. Of those 500 search results, only 100 of them are mobile phones; the remaining 400 are not relevant to the search. That means the precision is 100/500 or 20%. The recall would be 100/300 or 33%, as the search engine only found 100 of the 300 mobile phones available on the site, which means that 200 mobile phones didn’t show up on your search-results page at all. A perfect search engine would give only 300 results, corresponding to the 300  mobile phones available on the site, so it would have 100% precision and recall.

Building an omnipresent search bar keeping in mind precision and recall:

  • It will improve your website’s search performance and UX.
  • It allows visitors to quickly locate a product category or something specific without having to scroll through endless product pages to find what they are looking for.
  • It enables visitors to narrow their options and supports their ability to return to an item previously located.

If you do not have an omnipresent search bar, you may try A/B testing it against your existing design.

Ease Your Site Navigability

Good navigation reduces a visitor’s cognitive load. If your website navigation is stressing the visitor, it is time to rethink its functionality and make navigational paths shorter and simpler. The higher the mental load on the visitor, the higher the chances of them bouncing off your website. Each click should direct visitors to the desired page.

Here are some ideas that can help you up your navigation game:

  • Match visitor expectations by placing your navigation bar in standard places like horizontal navigation on the top and vertical down the left to make your website easier to use.
  • Too many navigation options can confuse visitors and lead them off your website. If your page has too many links, A/B test each one of them to determine which one is distracting your visitors most.

Enlisted items should be the most relevant ones. With fewer items, visitors are more likely to spot important items. Each item removed means added importance to the remaining ones.

Keep It Visually Neat

Because everything seems so essential, e-commerce entrepreneurs find it very challenging to simplify their website. As e-commerce stores, you do not have the liberty to go imageless with your website. Customers like to see every detail in high-definition before they buy.

But it is time to be brave and make cuts to the website. Get rid of every element that is a distraction:

  • Home page and landing page

Add plenty of white space and high definition images, feature product videos instead of images or test out different layouts. De-clutter your pages using clickmaps to analyze dead clicks and identify distractions. The less cluttered your home page and landing page, the more likely that visitors easily find what they are looking for.

  • Product page

Your product page should address your potential buyer’s concerns and hesitations without getting cluttered:

  • Provide all necessary context: Based on the products you sell, find creative ways to provide all necessary context so prospective buyers do not get overwhelmed with an unorganized copy while looking for answers to their queries. Provide clear copies, size charts, color options, and visual guides and instructions if a product needs assembly.
  • Customer reviews are critical: Add customer reviews for every product possible. Do not omit negative reviews as they add credibility to your store.
  • Keep your copy simple: Do not confuse prospective buyers with descriptions that are decorated with over-complicated language. Keep it simple and fun to read.
  • Create urgency: Your product page should create a need among prospective buyers to purchase your products. A  ‘soon going out of stock’ pop-up, keeping a countdown like ‘3 more left’ or highlighting exclusive product discounts can be some ways to nudge a prospective buyer to purchase immediately.

Zalora, the fastest growing online fashion retailer in Asia, optimized its product page and increased conversion by 12.3%.

Ease Your Checkout Process

Many prospective buyers to convert into buyers, make sure they do not get thrown off by a complicated checkout process. A well-designed checkout allows shoppers to complete their purchase quickly and conveniently, while a poor user-experience can cause friction and cart abandonment.

Here are some ideas that may help you optimize your checkout process:

  • Add multiple payment options (and test each payment option)
  • Introduce single page checkout (and reduce the freedom and excuse to delay purchase)
  • Highlight shipping and return offers (create a sense of urgency through them)
  • Add a progress bar to your checkout (let your customers know where they are in the process and how much longer it will take to complete their purchase)
  • Allow guest checkout
  • Reduce form fields
  • Add “similar products” recommendations

Test Rotating Carousels On The Website Home Page

Automatic rotating carousels are often thought of as an easy solution to provide better navigation to all the important content on the site. Before implementing these, A/B test your ideas because they may have worked for other websites, but the story can be entirely different for your website.  

There can be two parts to A/B testing the addition of rotating carousels:

  • First, A/B test to see how your visitors are reacting to the carousel addition.
  • Once the result comes in (and if it is positive), A/B test the format of your carousel.

There are different types of carousels that you can test to be used on your website like automatic sliders, visitor controlled slider, horizontal carousels, vertical carousels, carousels with images, carousels with videos, etc.

Add Social Proof

Social proof such as recommendations and reviews comes from experts of the particular fields, from celebrities and customers themselves. There is a strong correlation between the number of online reviews an e-commerce website has and its sales.

Express Watches, an authorized Seiko watch dealer that ships to over 23 countries, witnessed a 58.29% increase in sales by adding a customer review widget to their website.

Click here to know about more ways to use social proof for higher conversions.

Inform Prospective Buyers About Abandoned Carts

According to research, 67% of online shopping carts are abandoned right before a user completes their purchase. Prospective buyers add products to their cart and forget about them.

To prevent the loss of customers through abandoned carts, you can set up cart abandonment notifications on your website. While some prospects may go ahead and delete the items they don’t intend to buy, such notifications can act as reminders for items that people would have added and perhaps forgotten about.

By nurturing prospective buyers with more information and creating an urgency that nudges them to take action, the chances of them converting to customers increases. Yo! Free Samples, an online store giving out free samples and coupons, nailed 99% revisit to their website using push notifications.  

Highlight Your Offers And Discounts

E-commerce businesses often roll out multiple offers in the form of discount coupons, website-wide flat discounts, loyalty points, free gifts, exchange offer and so on. If visitors are not aware of them, the offers will not produce the desired result.

Showpo, an online pure play women’s fashion company, highlighted certain offers on its product page and increased its conversions by 6.09%.

Put Up Noticeable Trust Signals

Trust signals are qualities of your website that inspires trust in the minds of your visitors. They usually take the form of badges, certificates, money back guarantee, 100% satisfaction or testimonials. As business owners, you have to give visitors reasons to trust you. The best way to do this is to provide your shoppers with hard evidence that you are a trustworthy website to buy from.  

For example, if you want prospective buyers to make payments on your website, popular payment trust seals that you can add are McAfee, TrustArc, and Verisign to reassure them that their personal data is safe with you. You may also add industry (specific) association logos and certificates to establish the credibility of your website.  

Parting Words

The list of A/B testing for e-commerce ideas enumerated above is in no way exhaustive. You can either draw inspiration from these or come up with your own testing ideas to improve your store’s conversion rate. However, the bottom-line to optimizing your e-commerce website seems to be the same for all the pages: they should be straightforward, relevant and informative.

All you need to know is how to combine and balance functionality, usability, security, and design. Adopt a continuous testing approach until you turn your e-commerce store into a conversion magnet. Following a structured CRO process will enable you to pinpoint exact problem areas and allow you to use learning from each test to improve your subsequent tests. If you are unsure about how to start, here is an 8-week DIY Guide to help you kickstart your CRO program.

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How De Nieuwe Zaak Improved Productivity Using The VWO API

About De Nieuwe Zaak De Nieuwe Zaak is a leading full-service digital agency based in Zwolle, Netherlands. With a team of over 90 experts, they provide innovative, high-quality digital commerce solutions for retailers, wholesalers, and brands alike. They have been using VWO since 2012 to conduct A/B tests and optimize websites for many of their […]

The post How De Nieuwe Zaak Improved Productivity Using The VWO API appeared first on Blog.

About De Nieuwe Zaak

De Nieuwe Zaak is a leading full-service digital agency based in Zwolle, Netherlands. With a team of over 90 experts, they provide innovative, high-quality digital commerce solutions for retailers, wholesalers, and brands alike.

They have been using VWO since 2012 to conduct A/B tests and optimize websites for many of their clients. Being such an extensive VWO user, they are constantly investigating how they can make use of the platform to make their processes more efficient and produce faster results.

De Nieuwe Zaak recently started using the VWO Application Programming Interface (API), which has drastically improved the productivity of their development teams with regard to building A/B test campaigns by using VWO. They recently published a blog post sharing their experience using VWO and the API; you can read it here.

Challenges Before Using VWO API

De Nieuwe Zaak has more than 12 years of experience in implementing and creating web applications. In these years, they have standardized their development process.

For them, setting up A/B tests is a collaboration between CRO & UX consultants and developers. The CRO & UX consultant analyzes the user research data and comes up with a hypothesis for an A/B test, and developers write the code for it.

Front-end developers work in their own Integrated Development Environment (IDE), such as Visual Studio, Sublime, or Webstorm, as these editors provide excellent support for writing code in HTML, SCSS, and JavaScript. After a piece of code is complete, it is stored in a version management system such as GIT and Bitbucket so that it is never lost.

Before the front-end developers at De Nieuwe Zaak started using the VWO API, they used to write the code for the test variations on the VWO code editor. However, they wanted to be able to write code in the IDE familiar to them for improved efficiency.

How VWO API Helped Improve Productivity

Developers at De Nieuwe Zaak used the VWO API to visualize tests in dashboards, analyze test results, and implement code changes in their campaigns. Here is how the process worked:

For any API to work, 2 applications are required. With one being VWO, developers at De Nieuwe Zaak wrote a small NodeJS application that now runs on their computers with the help of extensive documentation provided by VWO.

The NodeJS application communicates with VWO by using an automated task runner called GruntJS and an asynchronous request initiated by the browser, also known as an Ajax call.

With the first version of the VWO API, front-end developers at De Nieuwe Zaak were able to retrieve the JavaScript and CSS code pieces from their version management system, and then push the changes to VWO. Further, they could accommodate using SCSS instead of CSS, which is easier to manage and write code in. Below is a schematic representation of the process:

Summary of Benefits

De Nieuwe Zaak is one of the first VWO customers worldwide that started using the VWO API. In addition to improving their efficiency and reducing the overall time spent from scratch till the end for implementing a test, the development team at De Nieuwe Zaak has been able to:

  • Improve code quality by using SCSS, instead of plain CSS.
  • Write code in an environment familiar to them.
  • Ensure safety of their code by using version management.
  • Create and extend the API link to further accommodate their use cases.
  • Follow their existing processes and frameworks to develop websites.
The VWO API is very extensive and is very well documented. At De Nieuwe Zaak, we use the API for visualizing reports in dashboards and implementing test. Particularly, the process of implementing tests with the API made the implementation more sustainable.
– Pascal Alferink, Developer at De Nieuwe Zaak

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